MBL Versus CLL. How Important Is the Distinction?

Lydia Scarfò, Claudia Fazi, Paolo Ghia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is defined as a clonal B-cell expansion whereby the B-cell count is less than 5 × 109/L and no symptoms or signs of lymphoproliferative disorders are detected. Based on B-cell count, MBL is further divided into low-count and clinical MBL. While low-count MBL seems to carry relevance mostly from an immunological perspective, clinical MBL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia appear to be overlapping entities. Only a deeper knowledge of molecular pathways and microenvironmental influences involved in disease evolution will help to solve the main clinical issue, i.e. how to differentiate nonprogressive and progressive cases requiring intensive follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalHematology/Oncology Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Immune system
  • Immunoglobulin genes
  • Immunophenotype
  • Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis
  • Prognosis
  • Progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology

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